From Vernon Ashford, Treasurer of GLERA with regard our Open Spaces Conversation and the Resolution passed at March Ward Mote for the City to 'consult with GLE residents regarding the current “private" status of the GLE as a result of which residents pay for the maintenance of areas of the GLE that are in practice open to the public’.
I have been carrying out some more research into the status of the footpaths and roads on the Estate. It was decided conclusively that there are no rights of way across the Estate following litigation in 1987 and this was confirmed by the Comptroller and City Solicitor in 1998. This would apply to the whole of the Estate as shown in the plan attaching to the lease, as the lease itself was part of the documentation submitted for the litigation.
The litigation defining the position on rights of way across the Estate results from proceedings brought in the County Court in 1987 by the Corporation against the resident of 48 Cullum Welch House. The resident was in dispute with the Corporation regarding outstanding service charges and the basis of their apportionment and calculation. The Judge actually visited the Estate before making his decision that the footpaths and roads in the Estate are not Public Highways.
The issue was again raised in the review of the service charges leading to the variation of the service charge provisions in the Leases approved in the Mayors and City of London Court dated 24th February 1998. This granted a series of abatements on Estate wide costs based on the total of non-residential premises’ (i.e. the shops and public house) rateable values as a percentage of the whole Estate’s rateable value. There was an attempt to obtain a further abatement by arguing that the footpaths and roads were Public Highways and following some correspondence on this between GLETA and the Corporation, the Comptroller and City Solicitor confirmed “that the Golden lane Estate is a private estate and although members of the public are allowed to walk across the estate, the present notices prevent them from obtaining a Right of Way, regardless of how many years or times they have actually walked through it".
As Vernon didn't make this post (he just gave me permission to upload his findings) he probably see your response. I suspect that the gate has been closed because of anti-social behaviour and concerns expressed re our Open Spaces. Is it just closed at certain times of day? The Estate office would be able to give you details - if you do contact them perhaps you could share here.